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Suffering as a Source of Strength: Cardinal Sarah’s New Book

Image courtesy of Daniel Ibáñez EWTN

On 24 May, the German edition of Cardinal Robert Sarah’s new book, The Power of Silence – Against the Dictatorship of Noise, was presented in Rome, with Cardinal Sarah himself being present. (Edward Pentin, who attended the presentation, has an interview with Sarah here.) This German edition had caused much media attention even before its official launch because Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had written, on his own initiative, a foreword for the book in which he especially praised Cardinal Sarah as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, saying: “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.”

The Program for the May 24 Book Presentation in Rome (Click to enlarge)

At the event, Bernhard Müller, the founder of the German publishing house, Fe-Medienverlag, which published the German edition of the Sarah book, expressed his gratitude for this surprising initiative by Benedict XVI. He also related some stunning events in his own life that are, providentially, related to the publication of this new Sarah book – events which had to do with protracted suffering and the many graces received during this lengthy trial. (Archbishop Georg Gänswein was also among the speakers at the book presentation. At the end of his own speech, he read out loud Pope Benedict XVI’s foreword to the book.)

But before we say more about Müller’s touching comments, let us first consider the words of Cardinal Sarah himself, as spoken during the 24 May book presentation at the Church Santa Maria dell’Anima, which is also the seat of the German-speaking parish in Rome as well as of a college for German-speaking priests.

Cardinal Sarah explains that this new book of his “has grown out of life.” The book is a fitting fruit of his “personal experience and the experience of people who are dear to me, and whom I was able to meet and who have been able bring forth rich fruits in silence and through their silence.” In the following, Cardinal Sarah presents us with two examples that were influential for this book. Both instances are related to well-borne suffering and how such suffering can bring forth much strength and other good fruits.

The African cardinal first speaks about Brother Vincent-Marie de la Résurrection, a Canon of the Abbey Sainte Marie di Lagrasse whom he met in 2014. Cardinal Sarah explains:

He suffered under Multiple Sclerosis which caused him to die in 2016 at the age of 37. Brother Vincent could not speak. But between us, there grew a beautifully spiritual relationship – not with the help of words, but through looks, through silence, and through prayers in which Brother Vincent only participated by moving his lips.

This piercing encounter with such suffering and attendant spiritual beauty has deeply influenced Cardinal Sarah, as he adds:

Brother Vincent was able to open up for me in a very special way this human and mystical dimension of silence. I can thus say that the book which is being presented here today has been born in the chamber of a sick man, of a young monk who was awaiting Heaven in a body which bore more and more the signs of suffering but which also – as I would like to say – was radiant, because through it shone already the Light of the Resurrection.

In the following, Cardinal Sarah speaks about his own personal suffering during and under the dictatorship of Ahmed Sékou Touré in Guinea, Africa:

For me, silence is, however, also part of a personal experience of the first years of my episcopal service in Conakry in Guinea, where I lived in a very isolated and controlled way – under those well-known political conditions which I have already described in my first book [God or Nothing – see here Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s words at that books’ presentation in Germany]. The external isolation opened up for me at the time – as a great gift from God – those inner realms, foremost, into which God enters and and in which He dwells and speaks and consoles.

It is just these kinds of experiences, explains Cardinal Sarah, that help us still today “to reach a deeper discernment as to what surrounds us – in a cultural environment which nearly systematically avoids being alone with oneself and looking inside oneself.” He continues: “The noise, the chatter, and the new technologies which transport this noise cover up the emptiness of a new man who barely knows anymore for what purpose he shall live.”

This noise and distraction, according to Cardinal Sarah, has also now entered the Catholic Church itself:

Even more painful is for me, however, to notice how this superficiality and godlessness and disdain of the human person have in the meantime entered the Church. I cannot deny, therefore, that this book is also based on my experiences as the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Because I must say that the liturgy is that dimension in the life of the Church which might suffer the most under this degrading secularization which has also entered the Church.

In explaining these words, Sarah points to the fact that our modern world lives “as if God does not exist.” There is an “emptiness” in man which “stems from the absence of God.” However, in searching for an “access to the absolute,” says Sarah, man realizes that “nothing that is merely human can completely fill his heart.” Importantly, Cardinal Sarah adds: “But it is problematic that we seek merely human solutions as an answer for our [own quest for our] destination.” In the face of great problems, explains the cardinal, “we insist upon human means instead of lifting up our hearts to God.” [emphasis added] The African cardinal then presents a striking thought: “Sometimes I have the impression that this secularization has entered the Church in order also to reduce our Faith to a human standard.” [emphasis added] A “Faith according to human terms” is being presented to man “which is not any more rooted in the depth of the Revelation of Christ and the Tradition of the Church, but, rather, in the claims and [purported] needs of modern man.” For Cardinal Sarah, “this secularization can also be seen in the liturgy.” In the liturgy of today, one can see “a reduction of the Faith according to merely human standards and human whims in all of its weight, be it in the words or the gestures.”

It is in this context that Cardinal Sarah laments that in our homilies nowadays, there is barely talk anymore “about the Faith, eternal life, the communion with the Person of Christ, sin as a breach and a rebellion against God.” He goes on:

And are there not attempts being made, also to extinguish all those gestures which seem “incomprehensible” to modernity, in order to replace them with a gush of words which turn our Eucharistic feasts more and more into great happenings at whose center stands man, enclosed in himself with his problems and with his own judgment to solve these problems? Is this, however, not rather only anymore a human feast – rather than a true worship of God and a feast of the Church?

It is to be hoped that many clergymen in the Church would now attentively listen to Cardinal Sarah here. One can clearly see how, in his case – as well as in the case we shall discuss in a short while – suffering has led to great depth of heart and soul, to a persevering strength that is much needed in our time of great tests and challenges. (In this context, Bishop Athanasius Schneider also comes to mind whose grace-filled Catholic witness seems to have been formed by living under Soviet Communism.)

Let us now return to Bernhard Müller who, as the publisher of the German edition of Sarah’s book, has his own special story to tell. This story is beautiful, because, as it turns out, Müller himself, as a young man, was deeply engaged in helping an African archbishop – Raymond Tchidimbo – to be freed from prison under that same dictator, Sékou Touré, who later caused Cardinal Sarah’s own suffering. And, as it turns out, Cardinal Sarah has even dedicated his new book to that same devout prelate, his own predecessor in Conakry, Guinea!

Archbishop Tchidimbo – who was imprisoned and tortured for eight years – had heard about the young man (Bernhard Müller ) and his own little group’s initiative in defense of him – and later, after his liberation in 1979, he personally contacted them in order to thank them. The African archbishop went to Germany and even visited Bernhard Müller, his brother and another friend and their parish for a week and sang to them the songs he had written (but never sang) during his own imprisonment – without ever being able to sing them aloud, out of fear for his life. As Müller puts it:

We experienced days of grace-filled encounters with Archbishop Tchidimbo. It was a week which formed us for our future life. Many sentences which he said to us then, we never forgot: “If one has been for so long in prison, everything is of much value – also the little things.” And: “Only he who once has been in prison can assess the value of freedom.” […] A man who had suffered so much for Christ impressed us. He became a strong motivator for our further work [called Fatima-Aktion, inspired by the message of Fatima].

The German publisher concludes this beautiful story by saying:

Today, nearly forty years after our first meeting with Tchidimbo, our Fe-Medienverlag – which came out of the Fatima-Aktion and belongs to it – now publishes a book of his successor, Cardinal Robert Sarah, with the title The Power of Silence. […] Cardinal Sarah writes on page 127 [of his new book] that Tchidimbo knew “that his prison was like a field; daily he sowed there [the seeds of] his life – just as one sows a kernel of wheat – fully aware that those who sow in tears will harvest in jubilation.”

Such is the message of these brave men from Africa. May it give us all a greater genuine hope that our own suffering and toil in this world may bring good fruit at some later point – even if we are not blessed to see it right away, or even not at all in this life.

101 thoughts on “Suffering as a Source of Strength: Cardinal Sarah’s New Book”

  1. Pope Francis was perhaps inspired by BXVI’s writing an afterword to Cardinal Sarah’s book. Yesterday, May 30th, in Pope Francis’s homily given at Santa Marta in the Vatican, the Pope said: “…a shepherd must be ready to step down completely from his church, rather than leave in a partial manner…”
    If that was not a reaction to the Emeritus’s action, perhaps Pope Francis was referring to retired Cardinals Caffarra, Meisner and Brandmuller signing the dubia along with non-retired Cardinal Burke.
    I haven’t read anything on my usual blogs about this, so just throwing it out there.
    (Where is everybody?)

      • I understand. The man communicates with insinuation, or what politicians call “plausible deniability.” But the breath-taking indecency of it has stunned me, anyway.

      • Cardinal Sarah has been anything other than silent writing two brilliant books. Everyone needs to read “The Power of Silence” – particularly paragraph 31 where he describes a particular kind of prelate. One cannot help wondering whom he had in mind. Chapter III on the Liturgy is a direct appeal to Pope Francis to promote the reform of the reform. The original French version was published in September 2016. Pope Francis acted quickly to change most of Cardinal Sarah’s staff and to sideline him.

        Evidently Pope Benedict is so concerned with this that he wrote an afterword to Cardinal Sarah’s book in May praising him. Surely this is a very significant development clearly showing where BXVI’s sympathies lie and it has been done in a most public manner. Pope Francis has now responded saying that BXVI should presumably disappear into complete retirement. We cannot know what goes on in private but surely we now have a clear rift between PF and BXVI.

    • I thought the shepherd is called to lay down his life for the sheep, and not to step down from the Church. Btw, hypotethically speaking, in case that the shepherd is forced to step down against his will, I guess it doesn’t stop him to be who he truly is – a shepherd to the flock. Am I wrong?

    • Have you every thought that there might be a very strong reason why those prelates don’t oppose openly to Bergoglio? Why they in stead speak so much of the “power of silence” or “suffering in silence”, why many are scolded and shutted up when they tried to say more than Bergoglio allows, why there are immediate consequences for those who talk to much, why even Fr. Matthew Festing didn’t oppose to Bergoglio’s wish though Bergoglio had no real authority over the Soverain Military Ordre of Malta?

      I would say that such a behaviour of many high-ranked members of the clergy as well as some important people belonging considered to be the authentic Catholics, is a conscious choice made for the sake of something or someone that is “hidden from the world”. The real reason is known only to a few and it has nothing to do with personal nonchalance or cowardice, but rather with their justified fear in terms of harming something or someone being of the utmost importance for the Universal Catholic Church.

        • I believe the Apostolic succession is in question… since the Pontifical Swiss Guard is useful only for the new sequel of the Toy Story.

          • The Pope had that same “bovine/flat stare” look on his face with the Obamas and Bush also. Fox had some fun with the photos the other night. But, that said, I am not challenging your theory about Pope Benedict. I forget the canon but there are several lawyers working to establish that by the very fact that he erroneously (though in good faith) thought he could bifurcate the Papacy into a contemplative (him) and active (successor, aka for now Francis) arm, when canonically it is not possible, he voided his resignation and the election of Francis was in fact no election at all, and B.XVI is still in charge.

          • I guess you have it right though it is not easy to discerne was it truly idea of the Holy Father himself: he was speaking about “undergoing mystical experience” but had denied possibility of hearing the God’s voice or having the apparitions (, claiming that he leaves for the good of the Church and without pressure. However, by now the whole “papacy” of Bergoglio became a kind of “commen mystical experience” and the faithful are fed up. Let’s pray that all the parties contributing to this strange reality of the Church and especially situation of Pope Benedict XVI, will find boldness to acknowledge mistakes they have made due to their global power game, and without pushing half of the world into further wars.

          • We are told that Ratzinger is calm and serene in his retirement, even though his abdication gave us the forces of hell unleashed and brazen in their seeming triumph. Why then do you think Ratzinger is any better than what we now have? He was always a half-Modernist.

          • Are you suggesting that because he was “a half-Modernist” (what about Summorum Pontificum?), Pope Benedict XVI should be the only one responsible for all “the sins of the Catholic Church”? That’s pretty in line with the campaign run against Pope Benedict XVI by the powerful British barrister Geoffrey Robertson ( Unfortunately, Robertson considered only Pope Benedict XVI liable, so he didn’t continue his campaign against the Pope after Bergoglio overtook the Catholic Church. Interesting!

          • I think the point is that Benedict XVI is still the Pope and he is in grave danger. Just a guess, but that’s what I think is being suggested.

  2. Thanks Steve for this touching look at Cardinal Sarah. I have given The Power of Silence to five priests so far and have ordered more. Out there we have discouraged priests, lonely and isolated priests, persecuted priests, as well as infected and impure priests. I urge all to buy a couple of copies and give them to those priests to whom God inspires you .

  3. This book is a power house of wonder and joy. A great peace permeates through every page and I just forget all the c–p in the world every time I open it. I’m only on page 50 out of 240.

  4. I have been informed that Pope Francis will in the near future be publishing several books at the same time in order to regain the initiative he feels he has lost in recent times. An “insider” whose name I cannot divulge has given me a sneak preview of these weighty and learned tomes which will undoubtedly change the face of the Catholic Church, and I can bring the details to you now.

    “Up Yours, Mrs Miggins” is a riotously funny account of the life and loves of an Argentinian night-club bouncer who gets involved in a ménage à trois and in the end escapes from another outraged husband by hiding in a sheep pen.

    “Confessions of a Rosary Thief”, based on Jorges Bergoglio’s own experiences, this book on Marian devotion is set to challenge even St. Louis de Montfort’s work on this essential element of Catholic life. (Contains bad language, parental discretion is advised).

    “Coprophagy: New Ways to Love the Lord” examines the various sub-genres of the homosexual lifestyle and finds Biblical support for all of them. This challenging work has a Forward from Cardinal Daneels and guest essays from the Marquis de Sade, Aleister Crowley and Hillary Clinton.

    “Swivel on This, Suckers” is a heartfelt condemnation of the fascist element within the Catholic Church which seeks to enslave the masses in murderous factory conditions; refuses to accept that, with global warming, God has failed Creation; and puts its faith in out-dated concepts such as holiness, prayer, conversion of heart and penance.

  5. Pope Francis is reflecting on himself DUDE.. he was a retired Archbishop- and thought he should now become Pope. But retirement jobs are in and in our Economy reasonable-
    HE wanted to say I should have stayed – stepped down completely as a Shepard.
    That’s what his Audience address was about Yesterday-

  6. Since I commented on this post early, and diverted it from the topic of Maike Hickson’s post, I want to add:
    I respect Maike Hickson and Cardinal Sarah. Another book, another interview of a Cardinal, however, does nothing to dispel the frustrations of the Catholic laity. Cardinal Muller recently released a book… Archbishop Chaput has written a book… and so on. How many lay Catholics are going to pay $30 US and up to buy these, when we can get, say, St. Francis de Sales at the public library, or free online?
    I have no doubt that Cardinal Sarah’s book provides sound spiritual guidance. His insights may be particularly interesting and his perspective may be helpful for many.
    But I won’t buy his book.
    Sorry, but I have different expectations from current members of our Curia. Expensive books are not the way to reach the faithful in this of immense danger to the Christian faith. A book, or magazine interview, from some Rome-based Cardinal comes out every month. They will have to be more straightforward- more honest about the Second Vatican Council, for instance, in Cardinal Sarah’s case- if they want me to pay for their books.
    Again, I can download, buy or borrow the works of great spiritual writers, from East and West. Our Cardinals now have an urgent task and they can’t reach any but the most motivated and middle/upper class Catholics with their current strategy of publishing these works.

    • @ SAF
      The limit of all those “works of great spiritual writers, from East and West” is that, excellent however they may be, they are not written in the middle of the crisis we are in, and therefore they don’t speak to the present situation.

        • Dear SAF, perhaps it hasn’t occured to you (yet), but here at 1P5 the name of the game is, “For how long is the Catholic Church going to last?” (Before the Saviour comes down to sort it out, that is …)

          • Oh, it has occurred to me. Also, it has occurred to me that I myself may not last through this very day. The writings of the Church Fathers, and of the saints, teach us about holiness in life and how to achieve a good death. I doubt you object to either, so I don’t really understand your objection to what I wrote. Anyway, have a penitential and blessed Friday!

  7. Cardinal Sarah is quite correct in his analysis of the loss of silence. Having recently retired, I decided to participate in the weekly Holy Hour held in my local parish. Because I travel to a SSPX Mass centre each week I do not usually attend my local Church. The scene for the entire hour consisted of piped guitar music and folk type hymns followed by bidding prayers, also from recordings. There was no time available for silent contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament. It was distracting and superficial. It appealed to the more emotional type of people who adopted pentecostal stances; arms outstretched and so on. I give it a miss now and just spend time before the Blessed Sacrament on my own. It has always struck me that since the Mass was celebrated in the vernacular, the laity adopted a general permission to loudly talk about anything and everything before and after Mass. From my experience, where one attends Traditional Masses, this is not the case. The Church/chapel is filled with people in silent prayer and thanksgiving. This must tell us something about the nature and mode of the two rites. How can one develop a contemplative relationship with our Blessed Lord amongst this hedonistic clamour?

    • Yep. You’re right. For myself, I love silence. And I so appreciate our Adoration Chapel where it is silent. We have an order of nuns whose whole mission is adoration so there is always one in prayer.

  8. 6 And so you know what holds him back [to katechon], so that he will be
    revealed in his own time. 7 For the hidden power of
    lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back [to
    katechon] will do so until he is taken out of the way (2Thess 2:6-7)

    Perhaps it is time to try and identify what is this mysterious
    “restraining power” and “restraining agent”.

    This is a brief list of some of the most relevant
    identification attempts:


    Holy Spirit

    Archangel Michael

    Catholic Church



    Roman Empire



    to put yourself in the perspective of the early Christians, Paul and his
    Thessalonians, around 50 AD.

    of the attempted identities listed above are anachronistic, some too politic,
    some alien from Paul’s theology. As
    for the “holy spirit”, the Second Letter to the Corinthians makes it
    clear that even for Paul there was even too much going about, and today, with
    this climate of more and more fashionable “charismatic Catholic
    renewal”, it does not seem to me that we can say it is likely to be “taken out
    of the way”. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    guess is that the most likely is the Eucharist, in its meaning of sacrifice
    (the “restraining
    power”), which can not be separated from the priest as bearer of the
    person of Christ (the
    “restraining agent”).

    is evident, the contention around the liturgy today is essentially about the
    meaning of the Mass.

    why is the Mass, understood as Eucharistic Sacrifice, the
    power”, and the priest who operates it, the
    “restraining agent”?

    answer is, I believe, disarmingly simple: once the liturgical practice of the
    Mass as a re-presentation of Christ’s sacrifice has come to an end, the
    relative doctrine is inevitably lost too.

    that point nothing will hold back the Catholic Church from apostasy, and
    nothing will hold back the “mystery of iniquity” from unfolding
    completely. But, at that point …

    And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall
    consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
    his coming (2Thess


    • It’s the Pope.

      With the Papacy, the rock of Peter’s faith, out of the way, there’s nothing left on earth to withstand the might of hell. And with Frankenchurch, its Pope is self-evidently out of the way.

      • Yeah … that is the easy answer. Unfortunately, you have not done what I suggested to do: “Try to put yourself in the perspective of the early Christians, Paul and his Thessalonians, around 50 AD.”

        Do you seriously think that in 50 AD Paul, speaking to his Thessalonians, was referring to “the papacy” and “the pope”? And that his Thessalonians were meant to understand easily Paul’s hint? Who, Peter, BTW? Think again, think better 🙂

    • “The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them the precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, precisely as Daniel predicted.” (Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of
      the Church). (The Antichrist Rev. V. Miceli, p. 276.)

      ‘The abolishing of the Mass – precisely as Daniel predicted.’ What did the prophet Daniel say? “And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground and he shall do and prosper.” (Dan 8:12). “The victim and the sacrifice shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation.” (Dan 9:27). “They shall defile the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the continual sacrifice, and they shall place there the abomination of desolation.” (Dan 11:31). The Fathers of the Church agree that the ‘abomination of desolation’ is the Antichrist. It appears that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass fails, or loses its efficacy, thus clearing the way for the Antichrist.

      This is confirmed by Saint Paul: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or
      that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God. … And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh: only that he who now holdeth do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed.” (2 Thess 2:3-8). The Fathers of the Church agree that the ‘man of sin’ is the Antichrist and the word ‘revolt’ is translated ‘apostasy’ in the Greek. St Paul refers to something which restrains the Antichrist, but that when removed, permits him to be revealed. He describes this restraint as being both neuter (what) and masculine (he).
      Similarly, Daniel prophesied that “the victim (masculine) and the sacrifice (neuter) shall fail: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation”, the Antichrist. This restraint is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Other references (linked to Daniel) are found in Matt 24 and Mark 13.

      In an astounding statement, echoing the Ottaviani Intervention, Cardinal Ratzinger admitted that the drastic manner in which Pope Paul V1 reformed the Mass in 1969 provoked “extremely serious damage.” He said that the suppression of the old Mass marked a “break in the history of the liturgy, the consequences of which
      could only be tragic … I am convinced that the ecclesial crisis in which we find ourselves today (1997!) depends in
      great part on the collapse of the liturgy … I was dismayed by the ban on the old missal, since such a development had never been seen in the history of liturgy … Action should be taken to repair the damage … For the life of the
      Church, it is dramatically urgent to have a renewal of liturgical awareness, a liturgical reconciliation, which goes back to recognising the unity in the history of the liturgy …” (The Catholic Weekly, May 11, 1997. p 4.)

      “Collapse of the liturgy … ecclesial crisis … for the life of the Church it is dramatically urgent …”! In language
      recalling Daniel and St Paul the Cardinal admitted that the Novus Ordo Mass had failed. Let us return to Sr Lucia of
      Fatima. Why did Our Lady tell Lucia dos Santos that there were only two remedies left – the Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary? Why was the Mass not given as a remedy? Clearly the Blessed Virgin foresaw that the Mass would fail.


      • @ Gerry

        Thank you for all that you have contributed in reply to my comment. I was not aware of what Saint Alphonsus Liguori had said, and I had not considered all that Daniel had predicted, in particular that “The victim and the sacrifice shall fail …” (Dan 9:27).

        And now some questions and differences.

        1. When Paul wrote 2 Thess 2:3-8, the sacrifice at the Temple of Jerusalem was still going on (for another 20 years, until 70 AD, to be accurate). Do you think he had Daniel’s predictions in mind? If so, what sacrifice do you think he was referring to? The priestly sacrifice of the temple, or the Eucharist, that was celebrated in the Early Christian Churches?

        2. You haven’t quoted Dan 9:27 correctly. Here is the proper quotation:

        And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice [Hbr. zebach] and the oblation [Hbr. minchah] to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Dan 9:27 – KJV)

        So, your reading of Dan 9:27, “Daniel prophesied that the victim (masculine) and the sacrifice (neuter) shall fail”, is projection on your part.

        3. Jesus, in his prophetic reference to Dan 9:27 at Matt 24:15 and Mark 13:14, seems to predict the end of sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem, as a consequence caused by its destruction by the Romans in 70 AD. Of course, the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21)
        has multiple levels of understanding and fulfilment, so it refers also to the End Times.

        4. As for the “Ottaviani Intervention”, I think it is worth providing a link, so everybody can judge for themselves. Here it is: Letter on Novus Ordo Missae, by Cardinal Ottaviani (Rome, September 25th, 1969 – What you may not fully aware of is the sequence of events, which is very critical, also for its bearing on the present situation.

        3 April 1969 – promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum by Paul VI. In the Article 7 of the relative Institutio, the priest is simply described as the “president of the assembly” and there is no mention whatsoever of the Eucharist as sacrifice;

        5 June 1969 – completion of a “Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass”, written by twelve Roman Catholic theologians, who worked under the direction of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre;

        25 Sept. 1969 – Card. Ottaviani sends the “Short Critical Study” to Paul VI with his accompanying, cover letter, highly critical of the Novus Ordo;

        12 Nov. 1969 – The CDF, consulted by Paul VI on the “Short Critical Study on the New Order of Mass”, responds that the Study contained many affirmations that were “superficial, exaggerated, inexact, emotional and false”;

        15 May 1970 – a note in the bulletin of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the discipline of the Sacraments (Notitiae, 6 (1970) 153) discretely but totally reforms the previous Article 7 of 3 April 1969, affirming, among other, that the priest represents the person of Christ and that the Mass IS the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

        5. Your reference to Fatima and to the “Holy Rosary and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” as “only two remedies left”, and your subsequent question and answer (“Why was the Mass not given as a remedy? Clearly the Blessed Virgin foresaw that the Mass would fail.”), implies that you consider the battle to save the Mass AS Eucharistic Sacrifice already lost.

        Question for you: why, then, would the emeritus pope Benedict XVI conclude his foreword (or afterword) to Cardinal Sarah’s book, with these words: “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands”?

        • Miguel, you write; “You haven’t quoted Dan 9:27 correctly. Here is the proper quotation:”
          “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice [Hbr. zebach] and the oblation [Hbr. minchah] to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Dan 9:27 – KJV)
          So, your reading of Dan 9:27, “Daniel prophesied that the victim (masculine) and the sacrifice (neuter) shall fail”, is projection on your part.”

          Regrettably Miguel, it is your quotation that is incorrect. The correct version is as I have written; “And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fall: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.”

          You have used the KJV which is a Protestant Bible and not acceptable for Catholic use. I have used the faithful and traditional Douai Rheims Catholic Bible in all of my studies. If you compare the KJV Dan 9:27 with the Douai Dan 9:27 you will note that the KJV is as described by Fr H Davis SJ

          “Particular Prohibitions. The following publications are specifically forbidden:
          Editions, published by non-Catholics, of the original text and of the ancient Catholic versions of Sacred Scripture, ….. also translations of the same, made or published by non-Catholics. The reasons for the prohibitions are the danger of perversions, omissions, false criticism, and the whims of so-called modern scholarship. As an example we have the Protestant Authorized (KJV) and Revised versions, which offer to their readers a mutilated bible.” Moral And Pastoral Theology 11 Precepts p 448.

          Fathers Rumble and Carty shed extra light on the matter of non-Catholic Bibles.

          “Is it true that Catholics must not read Protestant translations of the Bible?”
          “It is true that Catholics are forbidden to read Protestant Versions of the Bible, Sacred Scripture is so important and is entitled to such reverence that the Catholic Church permits to her subjects only such translations as she herself is able to guarantee to be substantially correct. ….. The Protestant scholar Scrivener said of the Douai Version, ‘Its scrupulous fidelity and exactness are its best recommendation. It is an act of justice to recognise that none of us has ever been able to reproach its translators with any wilful alteration of the Scriptures.’ Catholics are obliged in conscience,
          therefore, to use the Catholic, and not the Protestant Version. This is a disciplinary law of the Church to which they owe obedience; and violation of that law is, of course, sinful.” (Radio Replies, Third Volume, No 507, p 124.)

          • @ Gerry,

            You managed to make a big meal of the Catholic prohibitions, and do not even realize how absurd it is the prohibition even “of the original text and of the ancient Catholic versions of Sacred Scripture”.

            All this so as to distract other people from the main fact, viz. that you do not know how to answer my “question for you”?

            Poor poor you …

      • Quotation from The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Complete, dated April 12, 1820:

        “I have had another vision on the great tribulation everywhere reigning. It seemed as if something were exacted of the clergy, something that could not be granted. I saw many aged priests, some of them Franciscans, and one in particular, a very old man, weeping bitterly and mingling their tears with those of others younger than themselves. I saw others, tepid souls, willingly acceding to conditions hurtful to religion. The old faithful in their distress SUBMITTED TO THE INTERDICT AND CLOSED THEIR CHURCHES. Numbers of their parishioners joined them, and so, two parties were formed, a good one and a bad one.” (page 331 of Volume 2, emphasis added.)

        “…submitted to the interdict…” Only the pope can declare an interdict. An interdict, as far as I am aware, can order the complete cessation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass anywhere in the world. Or for the entire world.

        The only person that faithful clergy would obey in such a matter would be the pope.

        No secular government has ever accomplished the cessation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, except by the total slaughter of its priests (i.e. Japan). As a global slaughter of every single priest would end the Church permanently, it is not going to happen, as Jesus said to Peter (the gates of Hell will not prevail against it).

        Thus a papal interdict from a future pope could in fact put an end to all valid Masses on the planet, overnight. It is a hypothesis that was not occurring to me at all, until reading Catherine Emmerich’s prophecy.

        One could have a dismal sort of fun imagining how. For example, only Masses containing the valid words of consecration might be placed under interdict.

        (Incidentally, in actually reading the whole book, I found that some popular quotations have been severely butchered, with portions of the quote omitted, and words added, completely changing their meaning. In matters so serious, check the quotes you read.)

        • @ Hudson

          “For example, only Masses containing the valid words of consecration might be placed under interdict.”

          I consider that a very likely scenario. See what happened with the Vetus Ordo (the Tridentine Mass). Until that interdict happens, though, no faithful Catholic Christian has the right of disobeying the Pope.

          • Here is what the reference says:

            Can. 212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige [!!!] which they possess, they [the Christian faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

            And that is precisely what 1P5 and many other blogs do.

            As for “Scripture and the Fathers ORDER etc.”, I am afraid that “the Christian faithful” cannot use that against the people in authority in the Church, unless (as I have written elsewhere recently) the very “core” of faith (the Apostles’ Creed) and worship (the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass) are denied or essentially altered.

        • So, what are we waiting for…..complete calamity…..loss of souls?
          Continued tears from our Lady?
          The cardinals are not responding to the defense of the Church.

          Please, I am tired and weary of excuses, of waiting for prophecies to be fulfilled, as though this EXCUSES the lack of courage by the cardinals, in showing our Lord that as a Church we are prepared to
          give to Him, what He asks, what HE rightfully deserves.

          God bless you. I am but the “grassroots” here, and have no authority or right to question these poor cardinals.
          Such a shame. Nothing has really changed, has it?
          And we, meaning the Body of Christ, act as if that is “ok”.

          • As for “loss of souls”, nobody is going to be judged by God for what one is not aware of (I cannot remember who called ignorance the “Eight Sacrament”).

            You can certainly and rightly speak of “lack of courage by the cardinals”. Not Sarah, though, he is discreetly by firmly holding on, letting the villlains be the villains, the way it should be. He is a martyr, in the litteral sense that he is firmly witnessing, without compromise, to the Christian faith, to the Catholic doctrine.

            In these times, which, for many reasons are without comparisons, and maybe (maybe …) are near the end, more than ever we should hearken to the words of our Lord, Teacher and Master:

            Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves. (Matt 10:16)

          • If one is weak and confused, do these cardinals not see how their ” silent martyrdom” is leading many to hell as the Church is not speaking as ONE.
            Oh ignorance is certainly bliss, is it not?
            I am sorry, but I must disagree with your first premiss. True, only God can judge.
            But ignorance will not be such an excuse for most.

            Regarding Cardinal Sarah, his discreet witness is not martyrdom. It may be very uncomfortable, and saddening for him, but in my opinion, it is not martyrdom.
            He and many other faithful prelates remain in my prayers. I am sorry they have been put in such positions as they find themselves in. But, they swore to defend the Church, the faith…….NOT SILENTLY, and not in a provocative manner…….but in Truth.

          • Once again, God will judge ALL humans (not just Catholics, and not even just Christians) according to their “handicap”. The judgment will be most severe for those who are (should be) in the know.

            As for Cardinal Sarah, he has been disloyally let down and contradicted by the Vatican, his entire congregation was dismantled, and there is incessant pressure for him to resign. But he holds on and, as Benedict XVI has written, in his foreword (or afterword) to Cardinal Sarah’s book, “With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands.”

            Let’s leave the rest to the Lord.

          • I appreciate your second paragraph regarding the woes of Cardinal Sarah.
            If I recall, eleven of the twelve apostles were martyred, in the truest sense of the word.

            You say, ” Let’s leave the rest to the Lord.”
            Have you ever seen a millstone?

            Our Lord’s children, young and old are looking for Truth, and this excuse that they will not be held accountable if they are “not in the know”, is a far fetched reason for cardinals to remain silent, especially such faithful ones as Cardinal Sarah. I don’t know if they will be held accountable, but I PROMISE you this, their lives, if not guided by Truth, will be
            filled with great sadness, emptiness and yes……….easily lost for eternity.

            Much to risk for moments of silence and great interior prayer.
            If your loved ones are in a burning building. do you run and attempt to rescue them, or do you pray outside the burning building and let God handle it?

          • Dear cs, your first responsibility is towards your loved ones.

            Cardinal Sarah has been given a more general responsibility, possibly the highest, today, within the Catholic Church, and he is discharging it in the only possible way, in the given circumstances: holding on to the essence, the Mass as Eucharistic Sacrifice. His enemies would love for him to lose patience.

            Let’s pray for Cardinal Sarah to hold on, as he does.

          • My first responsibility is towards Christ and His Church.
            Yes, I love and care for family and those God has put in my life, of course.
            As a mother, I too have had to have and still do have great patience, trusting God through the difficult moments in their lives. But, there were times, not many, but there were times, when I needed to “draw the line in the sand”, not out of pride, but out of love. It was a risk, and required great trust in God, and service to Him above all.
            The fruit this bore was and is so good.

            It is very difficult to observe greater and greater desecration of the Mass.
            Malta and its rainbow flag draped over the altar, Catholic pilgrimages to Catholic Cathedrals in the name of sexual perversions. And all the while, the children are watching, and silence permeates from those in great authority. And of course, God is watching as well. Perhaps, soon, Cardinal Sarah will say,” NO”, to all of this in our churches and Liturgy. What has he got to lose?

            I appreciate your feedback, and you are always very respectful. Thank you.
            I shall pray for Cardinal Sarah and all the cardinals. Many have given to God more than I could even imagine.

            I feel so bad for the children; they are all of ours!

  9. Dear Cardinal Sarah,

    You are losing good priests, and good young men who want to serve Christ.

    God will protect these men who are priests, and as things are becoming accelerated in the Church for evil, He will prevent many good men from becoming priests, so as to save their souls from the corruption, the heresy that has become the foundation of this Church.

    Your choice and Cardinal Muller’s choice has been made. And so many of us, mothers of young men,
    who are devoted to Christ and His Church shall make theirs as well. If one thinks for one moment,
    that as mothers, we will not protect our sons from the disasterous effects of such a renegade Church, which will surely cause their souls to be in grave jeopardy…….THINK AGAIN!!!!

    A pity…….so pitiful……..I can barely look or read anything of any Catholic prelates words these days.

    Suffering………what is suffering exactly??? Is it remaining silent in the throes of the great scourge our Church is going through, while many are being led astray, while many refuse to religious life for fear of losing their own soul??? Is this the suffering you speak of? FOOLISH and WEAK notions such as these will never
    be met with a pleasing eye from our Lord.

    I am writing in a flurry thoughts right now, which may seem rash and disrespectful.
    I am pleading with Cardinal Sarah, and Cardinal Muller to disrupt this anti Church!!!!!!!!
    Yes, disrupt it!

    December 8th, 2015, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, with the pagan lights show on the wall of St. Peter’s was your warning to prepare. How are you warning God’s children to prepare and become holy in the means and the ways of Holy Mother Church????? Tell me.

    • Dear mother,

      Cardinal Sarah is heroically holding on to the essence of the Church: the Mass, the Eucharistic Sacrifice. He is not being rash. In the given situation, anything more would lead straight to schism. Not of the miniature size of the FSSPX, but, more likely, the end of the Catholic Church, however battered, however embattled. Is this what you want? Remember what they say about wanting things …

      • The Catholic Church will never end, even if it’s a defeated man living in a cave on an uninhabited (except for him) Pacific island.

        I say “Bring it on, PLEASE START IT NOW” if schism means the departure from the Church of all those who do not actually anymore belong to it – the liberals, Marxists, Modernists, protestants, Masons, apostates, the homosexuals, the useless clergy – with whom the Church is infested.

        Why should we be frightened by a schism? The Catholic Church would of course remain, battered, much, much smaller, but shorn of all the filth.

        How big was the Church in the year 33 34 AD? So.

        We would just have to roll up our sleeves and start the true christianisation of the world all over again.

        • Dear Comrade Stalin,

          put the revolution on hold. That would be a strategic disaster.

          Let this mind be in you, which was also in our Commander in Chief, who never considered breaking away from the Temple, but obeyed to the Father, his Father and our Father, to the very end.

          • And who is going to do it, comrade? You? Thank goodness Comrade Sarah has got more sense than you 😉

          • One wonders just how much compromise Cardinals Sarah, Burke Carrafa will accept before they take action to blow Bergoglio and the rest of his ilk out of the water. And with every compromise the Faith sinks deeper into the mud.

            Why do you oppose the departure from the Church of all those who clearly do not hold to its teachings?

          • I thought that should be clear enough, by now. Even you seemed to agree (“Miguel and Gerry, thanks very much for bringing this interpretation [the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass being the “impediment” of which 2Thess 2:6-7 speaks] to everyone’s attention. It’s new to me, and on reflection I find what you have written very compelling.”).

            HudsonLink put it even more clearly that either Gerry or me: “For example, only Masses containing the valid words of consecration might be placed under interdict [by the reigning Pope].”

            When that happens, then we can say that the “impediment” to the full manifestation of the “mystery of iniquity” has been removed.

            Oh, BTW, as I have already said to cs, Cardinal Sarah, far from being a man of compromise, is a martyr, in the proper sense of witness.

          • Nonsense. He has shed no blood. As CS stated, he may feel very uncomfortable and even persecuted, but he is suffering no martyrdom.

            Yes, I am grateful to you and Gerry for bringing to my, and maybe to others, attention the probable meaning of Daniel’s prophecy but I am bemused by your thought that one has to wait until that indubitably has happened before any resistance can be given to these murderers of souls. If you are right, then the Church’s entire history has been spent uselessly.

            I found your put-down of Gerry to be rather unhelpful. You didn’t answer his point about using the KJB. Why is your use of it acceptable?

          • Sorry, I should have written “you also seemed to agree”. My fault, and I apologize.

            What should Cardinal Sarah do, other than holding on and let the villains do their part? Become the leader of a breakaway movement? Just like Archbishop Lefebvre? That is precisely what the villains are waiting for. Thank goodness Sarah has learned from the FSPPX’s blind alley, however “disturbing” it may have been to the villains.

            The point is not the prohibition on the KJV (or KJB, as you refer to it, comrade, perhaps with a hint to the KGB …). The point is that the Duai-Rheims translation of Dan 9:27 does NOT properly render the Hebrew original. I have provided the evidence. Obviously Gerry resorted to an excuse, so as to avoid replying to my question.

          • Thanks Miguel for clearing up the misunderstanding.

            There may be another. I am not suggesting for a moment that we leave the Church and set up our own version, which would simply mean Traditionalists had become schismatics.

            I AM suggesting that those in the Hierarchy who can still claim to be Catholics actually say loudly and without obfuscation that Bergoglio and his crowd are undermining whatever is left of the Faith and that Catholics must no longer follow them.

            It may be that this moment will come sooner rather than later. I sincerely hope so. The General of the Jesuits evidently thinks he’s safe; so do the rest of them, cradled as they are in the Bergoglian bosom. They need to be called out for what they are. The Church will survive any schism.

          • Dear Comrade,

            this is a very delicate subject. When Jesus approved of Simon Peter recognizing himself as the Messiah, Jesus said that Peter was inspired by the “Father in heaven”. But Jesus was also perfectly aware of the fragility of any institution, including the Church (as we see today fully), and, even more so, of every human being, including the head of the Church. So much so that, after the Last Supper, Jesus prophesized to Peter that he would deny him three times, during that fatal night. The paradox, of which Archbishop Lefebvre was fully aware is that, as the Primacy of Peter has been instituted by Jesus, one cannot disobey Peter without putting oneself, automatically, outside the Catholic Church.

            I firmly believe there are two things, the abolition (or essential alteration) of either of which by the Pope will imply that the Pope is not owed any more obedience:

            – Apostles’ Creed
            – Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass

            I believe the latter will happen, sooner rather than later.
            Possibly the former will happen too.

            Until one of the two happens, however hard it may be remaining in it, the Catholic Church (of which, once again, the Pope is an essential part) still exists.

          • Well, I have to say I find your thesis persuasive. I tell myself that I will obey Francis in those things that are not contrary to the Faith, and with relief tell myself further that he hasn’t so far ordered me to do anything.

            Could you expand on the Apostles’ Creed abolition / alteration?

          • Sure. The Apostles’ Creed is the one that is recited at Baptism, and it contains the essence of the Christian faith, so much so that the Catechism is nothing but an expansion of it.

            During these days I am reading and meditating about First Corinthians. At chapter 15, Paul lashes out at the Corinthians, who are content to consider the Resurrection of Jesus a “special case”, having nothing to do with the general resurrection, which they simply DO NOT believe.

            Isn’t this exactly what has happened to ALL Christians, especially since the Middle Ages? Haven’t we gradually replaced the faith in the general resurrection with some unscriptural substitute, the “survival of the disembodied soul”? I can imagine the Church, at some point, making the faith in the general resurrection not mandatory. This would be an essential alteration against the Apostles’ Creed.

            Or the virgin conception of Jesus.

            If and when some such betrayal happens, the Apostolic faith is lost.

      • I do not want my son to lose his soul to this corrupt Church.
        I do not want to see him or anyone for that matter, seduced by this anti-Church.
        That is what I want.
        What does Cardinal Sarah and the others want?

        • I cannot read Cardinal Sarah’s mind, but my guess is that he is holding on, until someshing irreparable happens.

          “For example [as HudsonLink suggests], only Masses containing the valid words of consecration might be placed under interdict.”

          Again, until that interdict happens, though, no faithful Catholic Christian has the right of disobeying the Pope.



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